By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - The eight people who died in traffic accidents this year in Grand Bahama were remembered on Sunday during a church service commemorating the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
The service was held at the Grand Bahama Family Worship Centre on West Atlantic Drive.
Bishop Cardinal McIntosh delivered the sermon and Minister of Transport Neko Grant spoke on behalf of government, paying tribute to the victims and extending condolences to their relatives and friends.
World Day of Remembrance was founded by the UK advocacy group Road Peace.
It is observed in accordance with a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005.
Mr Grant said the day is significant because many lives are lost each year as a result of traffic accidents.
He reported that 44 traffic deaths were recorded in 2010 in the Bahamas.
"While this number signifies a decline when compared to 56 over the previous year, our objective is to sustain this trend and achieve even greater decreases in the number of persons that succumb to traffic accident-related injuries," he said.
Mr Grant said his ministry, through the Road Traffic Department, will continue to create campaigns that promote road safety.
He noted that over the past two years, his ministry has promoted initiatives such as the Driving Simulator Programme for high school students, and the Student Driver Education Programme for road safety teachers.
Mr Grant said the Road Traffic Department continues to partner with other sectors of the community to raise public awareness about road safety.
He noted that emphasis has been placed on promoting the use of seatbelts and car seats for infants and young children.
The public, he said, has also been warned of the dangers of speeding, being distracted or being drunk behind the wheel.
Mr Grant is urging everyone to commit to making the roads safer.
He encouraged the public to spread the message of road safety to family members, neighbours, co-workers, and friends.
"It is only through a united effort that we will achieve a significant decrease in road traffic injuries and fatalities," he said.
Jacinta Colebrooke and Maurice Noel died in a car accident on January 12, 2011; Alonza Charlton died on February 21; Vito Pinder died on June 12; Leonard Knowles died July 16; Anne Penn died September 10; Cherese Burrows died October 7; and Randy Petty died October 31.